Dark kitchens are on the rise. Dining is no longer the same as it used to be since the Covid-19 pandemic. Restaurants have been struggling to keep their doors open. The online food delivery market is continuing to rise, however, it is very competitive.
Restaurants and kitchens in Dubai such as us, at Sweetheart Kitchen, have adopted the dark kitchen model also known as a ghost, virtual, or cloud kitchen. The concept has been around for a few years, but since the pandemic, we are excited to expand our menu and virtual brands that work with us.
Now, let’s continue into the details of why dark kitchens and restaurants are continuing to rise and thrive.
Why Did We Open a Dark Kitchen?
In order to start a successful business, there has to be a need for something. We saw a need for more delivery online kitchen models in the area and now they are thriving more than ever. With over 30 brands under our belt, we are proud to be one of the most successful restaurants operating as a dark kitchen in the area.
Expand our customer base
Another reason that we started a dark kitchen was to expand our customer base. During the pandemic, it has been hard for people to enjoy their favorite restaurants due to closure or location. With our dark kitchen up and operating we are able to provide your favorite meal from a variety of our virtual brands straight to your door.
Expanding our customer base is very important to us. We are thrilled to have many customers who come back for their favorite meal each week or even day. Unlike traditional restaurants that do take-out or delivery, we operate at a much faster pace. Our food preparation, cook times, packaging, and delivery times are much lower than traditional restaurants ensuring that you receive your food just as the chef prepared it.
How Do Dark Kitchens Operate?
There is a lot that goes into operating a fully functional restaurant and dark kitchen in Dubai. Let’s dive deeper into how dark kitchens such as us at Sweetheart Kitchen operate.
1. Order taking in a dark kitchen?
Cloud kitchens operate through online ordering. It is a highly integrated system that is linked to food partners and delivery services. Some of our delivery partners include Talabat, Zomato, and Carriage.
2. How are orders processed in a dark kitchen?
Orders are collected and processed similar to other online ordering restaurants. The biggest difference in ordering online through a restaurant and a dark kitchen is that there are multiple brands that the customer could be ordering from. We have over 30 brands that we own and operate across UAE and soon in Kuwait. Some of the brands include:
- Karma Shawarma
- Bravo Avocado
- Gorilla Burger
- Training Day
- The Underdog
- Mac Edition
As you may be able to tell there are a variety of different types of food that we offer. The best part is every member of the family will be able to find something that they enjoy.
Orders are displayed on a Kitchen Display System that allows the staff to view them and the chef to prepare the order quickly and efficiently. The food is packaged in sustainable packaging to keep the order fresh and warm as it is being delivered to the customer.
3. How are dark kitchens staffed?
Since there is not a host or servers it is imperative that there are highly skilled kitchen staff members to keep the restaurant running. Chefs have a lot more responsibility than traditional restaurants since most of the work is falling on them. Of course, producing high-quality delicious food for our customers is our number one goal and outcome.
In dark kitchens, chefs may prepare foods of a variety of the brands that are operated underneath us, or there may be a certain chef to prepare the food of certain brands.
4. How are dark kitchens marketed and advertised?
Since there is no foot traffic coming from a physical location marketing and advertising becomes very important for dark kitchens. Having an online presence and a strong relationship with delivery partners becomes key. Presenting yourself on social media and a website oftentimes is not enough to spread the word.
SMS and email marketing are very important as well. As a dark kitchen updating our customers about deals, and new menu items are very important.
A Little About Us at Sweetheart Kitchen
Sweetheart Kitchen was founded by Peter Schatzberg in 2013. However, since then there have been many large changes to their beloved kitchen. He moved to Dubai in 2019 and blew away the community. He had a dream to redefine and change the way that customers experienced food and dining.
Starting Sweetheart Kitchen was a long-lived dream that has not come easy to the Sweetheart Kitchen team. With long nights, hard work, and lots of dedication the restaurant continues to thrive each day providing meals to the community as well as giving back at every chance we can to those who have helped the restaurant thrive and prosper.
Why Choose Sweetheart Kitchen?
Overall, owning and operating as a dark kitchen throughout this pandemic has not been easy. It has been difficult, but each day we are learning more and more about our customers, staff, and how we can improve to provide you with the most delicious food.
Providing great food at more affordable prices and delivered as soon as possible to you is our main goal. By focusing on the food and the outcome of the cruise we are able to reduce the cost to you as well as create beautiful decadent meals.
We pride ourselves in overcoming many obstacles just as many other restaurants have as well. With a strong team, anything is possible. We have plans to expand in the near future to serve more customers across the region.